Updated: Jul 25
While small business owners continue to need financing to support and grow their businesses, as the economy continues to tighten so are lending options. If You Have Had an Issue Paying Back Your Term Loan, Line of Credit, or Merchant Cash Advance, You Are Probably on a Blacklist. In recent years internet and alternative lenders have become more organized and sophisticated in their quest of protecting themselves from borrowers who have had payback issues in the past. This article explores the different ways lenders protect themselves from those who have had payment issues before.
By Thomas Tramaglini, Managing Director at BRP Onesta
Small Business Owners Need Money
From growing their businesses with new equipment to general working capital, small business owners are constantly in the hunt for financing for a multitude of reasons. In fact, nearly 1 in 2 business owners will seek financing of some type this year (I previously provided an overview of the statistics of how many small businesses are looking to borrow money for their business and for what purposes). Furthermore, when the economy hits bumps lenders like banks tend to tighten their parameters for lending. During the Pandemic, many months went by when lenders had $0 in total lending.
One simple statistic stands out – in 2021 nearly 32 million small businesses were in existence. Banks delivered only 12,000 or so SBA 7(a) loans during the same year.
Can The Past Haunt Small Business Owners When They Need Money?
The simple answer is YES.
In the olden days of the Merchant Cash Advance and term loans (2008-2020), there were always lenders who did not have the tools to do enough background on companies or small business owners and lenders would fund those who had bad payment performances in the past.
Today, internet and alternative lenders use several different tools that prevent funding those who have had issues paying back loans, lines of credit, and merchant cash advances.
One Strike and You Are Out
All in all, most lenders use one or more of the tools listed below to protect themselves. What this means is that if you have any issues with any payback, you will not get funded again. Period.
Harsher Than Bankruptcy
Small business owners who default or settle on loans, lines of credit, and merchant cash advances find themselves on a blacklist. Most lenders do not want to lend to those who have had issues with borrowing. In fact, the small business owner is permanently rejected by most lenders. If lenders decide to take a chance on the small business, the factor rates or interest can go as high as 60%.
On the other hand, filing for bankruptcy puts you in a bind for a bit. However, in most cases internet and alternative lenders will fund the small business owner if they do not have liens that are excessive. Some lenders have waiting time of up to 2 years before they will lend to the business.
Overall, this demonstrates that being on a borrowing blacklist is worse than having a bankruptcy.
What are the tools?
Founded in 2015, DataMerch.com is a popular tool for online and alternative lenders. Lenders who belong to DataMerch.com upload their lending experiences ultimately painting a picture of many small businesses who have taken loans and merchant cash advances with their companies. Recently, DataMerch.com reported that they now have over 50,000 records on file.
Why is this important? DataMerch.com provides lenders a robust database so they can better inform their approval process. These records provide categorical data such as suspicious activity, slow payers, split payers, and COVID-19 Hardships. Lenders can also find out if small businesses have taken on recent or defaulted funding that might not appear in a business’ bank statements. Regardless, small business owners should know that lenders are not stupid and if you have had issues with your MCAs or loans, you will probably have some issues taking another loan or MCA.
From our knowledge, here are the lenders who use DataMerch:
4 Pillar Funding | 501 Advance | 60 Day Capital | Ace Funding | Advantage Capital Funding | AJ Equity | Alternative Funding Group | American Stimulus Funding Group | Arsenal Funding | Avanza Capital | Balboa Capital | Bank of Cardiff | Biz2Credit | BlueSky Advance | Breakout Capital Finance | Business Capital Providers | Business Fund Corp | ByzFunder | CAN Capital | Capital Stack / E-Prodigy | Capybara Capital | CashFund | Cashium | Central Diligence Group | CFG Merchant Solutions | Channel Partners | Circadian Funding | CMS Funding | Coast Funding | Cooper Asset | Corporate Development Group | Credibly | Diamond Advances | Dynamic Capital | Edge Capital | E Financial tree | Elevation Capital | Eminent Funding |Enova ( OnDeck - The Business Backers - Headway Capital ) | Everest Business Funding | Expansion Capital Group | Express Capital Funding | Family Business Funding | FAVO Funding | First Down Funding | Flexibility Capital | Fora Financial | Formula Funding | Forward Financing | Fox Business Funding | Fundamental Capital | Funders App(24 Capital) | Fund GGC | Fundfi Merchant Funding | FundKite | Fund So Fast | GCap Holding LLC | Gemini Funding Group | General Merchant Funding | Backd | Global Funding Experts | Go Cap Advance | Good Funding LLC | Greenbox Capital | Green Note Capital Partners | Greenwich Capital Management | GRP Funding | Harper Advance | Highland Hill Capital | IBEX Funding Group | Imperial Advance | In Advance Capital | IOU Financial | Ironwood Finance | Irwin Funding | JRG Funding | Kalamata Capital Group | Kodiak Funding | Legend Advance Funding | Lendbug | Lendflow | Lendora | Lendr | LG Funding | Libertas Funding | Liberty Capital Management | Liberty Funding | Liquidbee | Mckenzie Capital | MD Capital | Meged Funding Group | Merchant Advance | Merchant Cash Group | Merchant Refi | Millstone Funding | Monera Capital Group | Mulligan Funding | National Funding | Novac Equities | PAC Western Financial | Parkview Advance | Paz Funding Source | PIRS Capital | Premium Merchant Funding | Progressive Equity Partners | Quicksilver Capital | Radium² Capital Inc | RBR Global | RDM Capital Funding | Reliable Fast Cash | Reliant Funding | Savent Financial | SCA Funding Solutions | Select Funding | Silverline Funding | Skyfi Capital Partners | Small Business Funding | SOS Capital | Spartan Capital Group | Specialty Capital | Sprout Funding | Super Fast Capital | The Fundworks | The LCF Group | Thor Capital Group | Torro | Unlimited Bucks | Velocity Group USA | Vertex Funding Group | VitalCap Fund | Vivian Capital Group | Vox Funding | Wellen Capital | Westfair Holdings Group | Westwood Funding | Wide Merchant Group | World Global | Wynwood Capital Group | Yarrow Financial | Yes Lender | YM Ventures | Zahav Asset Management
NYS Court System
One place that online and alternative lenders check for issues with loans, MCAs or just other issues which might be a red flag for borrowers is the New York State Unified Court System (New York State Courts Electronic Filing). This website yields a host of legal cases from New York State but importantly, most alternative lenders are in New York so anytime there is a default, and a lender files a Judgement, that Judgement is listed.
If you are a small business owner and default on a loan or merchant cash advance and you are served with a lawsuit or received a judgement, it will likely be listed here because most lenders are located in NY. The good news is that you can satisfy your Judgement which will be listed on the site after doing so. The bad news is that once you have a Judgement listed on this website it becomes very difficult to ever get funding for your business ever again. In some ways, have a Judgement posted on this site can be worse than a bankruptcy.
Would you like to see if you have anything listed? https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/ is the link that used to access the files.
Online and alternative lenders use different clearinghouses who curate a multitude of data. From publicly reported data to credit records, these datasets provide a robust amount of information about potential borrowers and businesses. There are a few clearinghouses our there (others like Chex Systems) but here are a few that we know are commonly used.
LexisNexis provides business research and risk management services to various industries. These include lenders, insurance companies, vendors and more. These companies use LexisNexis to verify personal and business credit history (PayNet does this too), public records (PACER), and application history. And they use LexisNexis to assess risk on applicants. Inaccurate information, data which doesn’t match your application, or negative items in your LexisNexis report can have a drastic negative impact on your business. This is especially true during the application process.
Business owners can request a copy of their LexisNexis report and decrease the probability of surprises during the application process. Click Here to Request Your Report
What to do if you have a negative payment history and you need financing?
If you have negative payment history and cannot get small business funding, there are a few options that might work.
One way that small businesses can get financing is through personal loans or credit cards. While this can be a barrier, in many cases because the small business has been blacklisted so personal loans may still be available. Plenty of companies out there exist who supply personal loans to people such as Sofi and Best Egg. While you may burden your personal credit, this may be your only option.
Simply, when lenders see you have a negative history from lenders, they may balk at lending your business money. However, some lenders may ask for collateral. That is, by putting a lien on a piece of real estate or equipment, the business may receive the funding they are looking for.
To see some of the options for collateralized loans, click here.
Business Credit Funding
In a previous article, I covered what business credit is. Business credit is the establishment, building, and maintaining of a successful borrowing and payment of credit on goods and services. Business credit is established under the business’ Employee Identification Number (EIN) and is not associated with the business owner’s social security number.
As long as you have good credit and have established business credit, you can get business funding on your EIN number. There are term loans, lines of credit, and credit cards that can be used when small business lenders refuse to loan money to your business because you had an issue at one time.
Sign Up for Our Secret Sauce Newsletter which shares information on trends, lending and grants for Small Businesses and receive the link to 1 Tradeline Who Gives Business Credit for Free Click Here
Not sure if you can get funded?
Over the years, we have seen just about everything small business owners have done to get funded. Specifically, we could write a book about some of the shenanigans some business owners who have negative payment histories have pulled to get funded.
When our clients or small business owners get declined for loans or merchant cash advances and ask why? Notwithstanding that many times the clients do not tell us they had issues with paying a loan or merchant cash advance, they should understand there are tools that lenders use, and it is very possible they are blacklisted.
So, if you are a small business owner who has had issues with paying back a lender, lenders are getting more informed, and they should be aware of this. Lenders are not stupid and if you had issues paying back a loan or merchant cash advance, rightfully so you will probably not be able to access more capital for your business. In fact, you will probably not find an easy road finding capital for another business as well.
Dr. Thomas Tramaglini is the Managing Director for BRP Onesta, a company that supports small businesses. By offering a host of important and affordable services that small business owners tend to not have time to do themselves, the team at BRP Onesta can help small businesses grow infinitely. Although located in on the famous Jersey shore, BRP Onesta serves clients in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Canada.